Thursday, November 9, 2017

After the Lung infection --- Back to sewing!

I have been away from blogging and sewing......because I got a lung infection! I'm still coughing but much recovered. So there was no blogging or sewing for a good few weeks.

I entered the Pattern Review Plaid Fabric contest before the infection. So it had been a mad dash to finish my plaid project in the last couple of days. I chose this very big patterned plaid boucle tweed coating fabric that has been in my stash for a long time:

This fabric has silver threads weaved throughout (difficult to see in this picture). I have used this fabric before to make a pair of cushions that I gave as x'mas gifts. I didn't want to make a coat with this as the Canadian winters are too harsh for such a loose weave coat. So I rummaged through my pattern stash and decided on this:

It seems odd at first glance to use a pattern destined for summery fabrics to make this obviously winter garment. I have never used this pattern before but I thought the simple pull-on, a-line shape would suit my body well. I have made other pull-on a-line dresses before and I wore them frequently.

I chose to make the knee length, 3/4 sleeve version of this dress, omitting the stand collar. I didn't do a muslin but compared the pattern pieces with a tried-and-true pattern to assess the fit. I did my usual short waist and short height adjustment. Fortunately the fit was fine.

The loose weave fabric was not easy to work with. There was terrible fraying, warping, which made matching the plaid pattern a little difficult. The dress has a front chest dart so I concentrated on matching the plaid from the bottom hem to just below the chest dart.

I wanted to 'jazz' up the dress a little with interesting trim. I auditioned various trim and found a bias red poly-cotton trim and cut out some remnant houndstooth plaid in my stash.

I added the red trim first with the frayed houndstooth trim on top. I applied this trim at the bottom hem and the sleeves:

I considered added external pockets to the dress but I think the bright contrasting trims are enough in terms of embellishment. The dress is actually quite warm but heavier to wear than regular dresses. I'll need to test-wear it this week to see how practically it is.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the risks I took in making this dress: 1) using a coating fabrics for a dress; 2) using a summery dress pattern for a heavier winter dress; 3) using a bright red trim with another plaid as trim; and 4) using a big bold print on my short boxy body. Also I busted some serious fabric stash too!

Here is how it looks on me and the plaid matches on the side:

So what do you think? Do you think the trendy plaid is workable for short boxy shaped women?

My review of this pattern is on PatternReview.


  1. Lovely results! I think that since this is not a "hard" plaid (I don't know the real name, but what I mean is that the intersecting lines in your plaid are not as obvious, making the plaid fuzzier or softer) it is not so much a plaid as just a pattern. Does that make sense? And I think keeping it fairly simple in style and in embellishment makes it work completely. You did a great job with the matching also.

    Sorry to hear you were sick - a lung infection is not a small thing. I'm glad you're on the mend.

    1. Thanks Jenny! I'm still coughing but much better. I wanted to get better before the harsh winter sets in! I agree with you that the plaid pattern is big but a bit 'fuzzy' looking, thus softer on the body. I am excited to test-wear it tomorrow!!

  2. I love this dress! What a clever use of trim and how you altered the trim. Your risk of fabric and pattern paid off!

    1. Thanks Linda! I think my gamble with the stacked trim somehow worked out!

  3. Your dress turned out well and the fit is very flattering on you. Great job!

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